Sunday 16 October 2016

Hummingbird Cake

Ever wonder the combination of sweet pineapples and bananas in a cake ?
My big boy commented "nice, I like this cake with cream cheese icing."
Mom: I find it too sweet ... with or without the icing....
My big boy: cake should taste sweet, right ? I find it nice, not too sweet ...

According to Wikipedia : Hummingbird cake
Hummingbird cake is a banana-pineapple spice cake common in the Southern United States. Ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, ripe banana, pineapple, cinnamon, pecans, vanilla extract, eggs, and leavening agent. Created on the island of Jamaica, the Hummingbird Cake was named after the island's national bird.

I've bookmarked the recipe some years ago cos it's pretty easy to bake. The dry ingredients are mixed together in one bowl, the wet ingredients are mixed together in another bowl. Mix to combine the 2 bowls ... You only need to use the electric mixer to make the icing/frosting. I've been procrastinating to bake this cake as I reckon that even if I reduced the quantity of sugar, it will still taste sweet (combination of sweet crushed pineapple and bananas).

I like the use of cooking oil instead of butter to achieve this crusty cake that is moist, light with tender crumbs. Nutty chopped pecans added some bits to the cake. I frosted half the cake with icing and kept the non-frosted cake until served.

Recipe adapted from : Joy of Baking
Below my slightly modified version as I've halved the recipe, reduced the amount of sugar and made a simple cream cheese icing without added chopped pecans.

Hummingbird Cake
Yields one 8-inch square pan
Dry ingredients
200 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
140 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

50 grams pecans - lightly toasted, cool and chop finely.

Wet ingredients:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
90 ml canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
110 grams can crushed pineapple, do not drain
200 grams mashed ripe bananas

Cream Cheese Icing:
30 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
100 grams cream cheese, room temperature
100 grams powdered or icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven at 180°C, position the rack 2nd from bottom. *Note : The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly.

2) Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, one 8-inch square cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

3) In a large bowl whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Then stir in the chopped pecans.

4) In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, and mashed bananas. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

5) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes until nicely brown. To test with tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

6) Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack, parchment paper, flip the cake right side up, and then cool completely before frosting and decorating.

To make the cream cheese icing:
1. Allow cream cheese and butter to stand at room temperature. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy.

2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar in 3 additions, beating well. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.  Beat until it reach spreading consistency.

To serve, spread over the top with icing as you like. Garnish with some pecan halves. If not serving immediately, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature before serving.

My big kids liked this Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese icing while I find it on the sweet side though. Paired a slice with a cup of black coffee. Enjoy my coffee break !

Enjoy & Happy Baking!


  1. Hummingbird cake with banana, pineapple combination sounds delicious. Yums! But I will remove the icing layer.

  2. Hi Karen, have always wanted to make this cake, heard so much about it. Looks delicious!

  3. Very nice cake, Karen! Looks delicious! No wonder this cake is a hit with your kids!


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